National University of Singapore: Summer Research

Name: Hanna Zhang   |   Country: Singapore   |   Date: Summer, 2017

Related Experience: Summer Research: National University of Singapore

For how long did you stay abroad?

3 months

Why did you choose to learn abroad?

To experience a part of Asia I’ve never been to before and get international research experience.

What are the specific skills that you learned or developed?

I’ve learned how to work with numerical simulations to simulate material behavior, prototype and test in a lab environment, and how to take care of myself in a different country.

What benefits did you get from the experience?

I’ve been able to grow a lot of a person from learning how to take care of myself, organizing/making travel plans, as well as meeting people from really different walks of life. I came back to Toronto refreshed with some good insights on how to go about my day to day and my education.

Hanna Zhang
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Please, name 2 challenges that you faced and how you overcame them in your experience.

I had initial challenges with my project because I thought it was beyond my understanding and abilities. I faced this by breaking up my tasks be it reading, understanding a concept, running an experiment, etc. and took it day by day. I also made sure to ask my supervisor for support when I was unsure. I also had difficulties with planning travel, as that was something I never had to do before. Getting visas, making accommodation plans, planning transportation was all things I had to learn on the spot. It was stressful but luckily I had the support of my fellow students on exchange as well as really friendly locals in my lab.

Would you recommend learning abroad to a friend? Why?

For sure! For me, going abroad really sparked my creative side, I started doing a lot more artwork after putting it on the back burner during university. While I was abroad because there were so many beautiful things to see and capture I got back into painting. That made me realize how important my artwork and expressing myself through that is to me, and it makes me really happy/relieves stress. I’ve learn to keep it a part of my life, and it’s things like that you don’t realize until you take a step back from your everyday life and go on an adventure someplace else.

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